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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Before I Go To Sleep - a review

Christine wakes in a strange bed, doesn’t recognize the room or the man snoring next to her. He has grey-flecked hair and she surmises she must have had a one-night stand with an older man. When she makes it down the corridor to the bathroom and looks in the mirror she has no recollection of ever seeing the middle-aged woman reflected back at her.
In answer to her screams her husband Ben shows up and tells her—as he does every day—who she is and how she has amnesia. The photographs surrounding the bathroom mirror show her each day a history of her life so far, and as she relaxes into the day, all is well. She just knows that as soon as she goes to sleep it will start all over again.
After Ben has left for his teaching job, the phone rings and a Dr. Nash reminds her to look in the shoebox in her closet. Apparently she has a journal she writes in every day that she keeps hidden from her husband. The first note in the journal is DONT TRUST BEN! As the novel progresses day by day and we get used to her routine, Christine’s life unfolds to us and to her. Gradually her memory increases until she no longer needs a daily reminder of the hidden journal and she begins to have flashbacks of her prior life. When she confronts Ben as to why he never told her of the novel she published or the son she bore, his answers are not glib, they make sense in order to protect her daily fragility.
When her flashbacks are of a man in her bed with a beard and a scarred face—definitely not Ben—and memories of a brutal assault, not of the automobile accident she has been told caused her head injuries, Christine begins to question Ben’s trust again. Nothing is as it appears and as the reader you should question everything you see and then never go to sleep again!

1 comment:

  1. Hard to believe it's a debut novel, SJ Watson's Before I Go to Sleep has garnered star reviewed from Kirkus and Booklist and was in development to be adapted into a movie before the book was even released. And though I've read some excellent books this year, I haven't come across a novel that would appeal to so many readers. This book has all the makings of an absolute block buster.


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